Efficacy of sustained delivery of GC-1 from a Nanofluidic system in a spontaneously obese non-human primate: a case study

  • Carly S. Filgueira
  • Giacomo Bruno
  • Zachary W. Smith
  • Corrine Ying Xuan Chua
  • Andrea Ballerini
  • Marco Folci
  • April L. Gilbert
  • Priya Jain
  • Jagannadha K. Sastry
  • Pramod N. Nehete
  • Kathryn A. Shelton
  • Lori R. Hill
  • Areeba Ali
  • Keith A. Youker
  • Alessandro GrattoniEmail author


With nearly 40% of U.S. adults obese, and childhood and adolescent rates rising, obesity and associated comorbidities are serious public health concerns with massive societal costs. Often, lifestyle interventions do not offer sufficient weight loss to improve health, requiring surgery and medications as adjunct management strategies. Here, we present a 4-month case study in which the sustained, low-dose, and constant administration of the thyroid receptor β selective agonist GC-1 (sobetirome) from a novel nanochannel membrane implant was assessed in an obese, pre-diabetic rhesus macaque. Dramatic loss of white adipose tissue in the abdomen from 36 to 18% was observed via magnetic resonance imaging in conjunction with normalized serum insulin and glycemia, with no signs of cardiotoxicity shown. The non-human primate study highlights sustained low-dose delivery of GC-1 from our minimally invasive subcutaneous implant as a valuable approach to induce weight loss and manage obesity and comorbidities, including type 2 diabetes.


GC-1 Sobetirome Thyroid hormone mimetics Sustained release Non-human primate 



The authors would like to acknowledge Drs. Kevin Phillips, Jean Lin, Paul Webb, Eugenia Nicolov, and Omaima Sabek for early discussions and project developments, Carlos Favela and Dr. Kemi Cui from the advanced cellular and tissue microscopy core, Dr. Andreana Rivera, Sandra Steptoe, and Dr. Yuelan Ren from the research pathology core. We also thank Dr. Greg Wilkerson, Luke Segura, Elizabeth Lindemann, and Debra Larsen from the Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Yongying Jiang from the Pharmaceutical Science Facility, Institute of Applied Cancer Science, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Dr. Jingfei Ma, Lindsay Wilson, and Michelle Underwood from MD Anderson Cancer Center. Membranes were provided by NanoMedical Systems, Inc. This work was supported by funds from Houston Methodist Research Institute (AG).

Author contributions

C.S.F. and A.G. designed the experiments. G.B. created the device schematics and performed the MRI analysis. C.S.F. and Z.W.S. performed the thyroid, pancreas, and liver imaging and analysis. A.A. and K.A.Y. performed the heart imaging and analysis. C.S.F., G.B., C.Y.X.C., A.B., M.F., and A.G. participated in drafting and/or revising of the manuscript. Primarily responsible for a particular specialized role (i) primate medicine: J.S., P.N.N., K.A.S., and L.R.H., (ii) blood processing: A.L.G., (iii) assisting with implantation: C.Y.X.C. and P.J.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interest

A.G. discloses a financial interest in NanoMedical Systems, Inc. All other authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10544_2018_296_MOESM1_ESM.docx (484 kb)
Figure S1 (DOCX 484 kb)
10544_2018_296_MOESM2_ESM.docx (128 kb)
Figure S2 (DOCX 127 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carly S. Filgueira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Giacomo Bruno
    • 1
    • 3
  • Zachary W. Smith
    • 1
  • Corrine Ying Xuan Chua
    • 1
  • Andrea Ballerini
    • 1
  • Marco Folci
    • 1
  • April L. Gilbert
    • 1
  • Priya Jain
    • 1
  • Jagannadha K. Sastry
    • 4
  • Pramod N. Nehete
    • 5
  • Kathryn A. Shelton
    • 5
  • Lori R. Hill
    • 6
  • Areeba Ali
    • 7
  • Keith A. Youker
    • 7
  • Alessandro Grattoni
    • 1
    • 8
    • 9
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NanomedicineHouston Methodist Research InstituteHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Cardiovascular SurgeryHouston Methodist HospitalHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Electronic and Communication DepartmentPolitecnico de TorinoTorinoItaly
  4. 4.Department of ImmunologyThe University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Veterinary SciencesThe University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer CenterBastropUSA
  6. 6.Department of Veterinary Medicine and SurgeryThe University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  7. 7.Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular CenterHouston Methodist HospitalHoustonUSA
  8. 8.Department of SurgeryHouston Methodist HospitalHoustonUSA
  9. 9.Department of Radiation OncologyHouston Methodist HospitalHoustonUSA

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